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How do I bond with my newborn, if my mother won't get out of the way?

I realize she is only trying to help, but my first month of mamahood has been completely disasterous. I want to feed him - NO, she has to do it, I want to change him - NO, I might hurt him, I want to dress him - NO, he doesnt look cute in that, I want to hold him - NO, she should do it so he doesn't get too attached to me, etc. Living down the street from her is really starting to get uncomfortable......

Without hurting her feelings, how do I let her know that she is making me feel inadequate and taking a time that is special in my life away from me?

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Asked by tinyhall at 3:24 PM on Mar. 11, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (22)
  • You have to put your foot down. As a young mother living with her parents, I know this first hand. I was 18 when I had my first child...and the ONLY thing you can do is put your foot down, lay down the lines. "This is MY child. You're not his mother, I am." You may hurt her feelings at first, but she will soon understand. Grandmother's have that motherly instinct with their grandchildren too. You just need to talk to her, and tell her how you feel. Tell her you appriciate all her help, but you can handle these things on your own.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:26 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • Her feelings re going to be hurt no matter how you put it. You have to ignore that fact and put it to her this way, "I'm never going to learn unless you let me do it. So please, stop."

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:29 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • oh sorrow I know what you mean. You gotta stop it now as much as you can or it will get even worse as baby grows. Tell her firmly without crying without yelling that you need to get experience with your child (not baby say your child) like you remember she said she needed to learn to be a mom with her own children.

    Also, tell her you need her help only on specific days if you feel absolutely obligated to have her over. Make it close to dinner time so that when your partner comes home grandma leaves because your partner now needs to have hands on with their own child too.

    Could help too is suggest she does hospital volunteer work or preschool or sunday nursery care or sunday school -nurturing grandmas are always needed in those places.

    She could also help you by writing a journal for you to save for child of how she came through babyhood and other years w/her own children, to pass on to your kids.

    Set rules your child.

    Answer by lfl at 3:32 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • She not there 24/7 is she?

    Just tell her that you don't need her help anymore and you can take over now.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:32 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • lock your door, turn out the lights, pretend to be napping

    honeslty I don't know I didn't have this prob, I had no help. But I do remember in the hosp there were so many people in and out visiting all day that the first night when everyone left and it was me and him in my bed snuggling and I was talking to him, that was a very special time for me. You may just need to tell her it is your turn to be mommy..
    good luck

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 3:39 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • this is how the problem with my SIL started. now he's 11 and she's still thinking she's the mother of him. correct it now or dont but what you do will affect things later in the future if you let it continue.

    Answer by americansugar80 at 3:44 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • Tell her this is YOUR baby and that although you appreciate the help, you can do things just fine by yourself and you'll ask for help if you need it.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 3:54 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • gdiamante: "Her feelings re going to be hurt no matter how you put it. You have to ignore that fact and put it to her this way, "I'm never going to learn unless you let me do it. So please, stop."

    Exactly!!! Tell her you need her to take a step back and let you mother your child. I'm sure she didn't learn how to take care of you by letting someone else do it. Remind her of that. Let her know you really do appreciate her help, especially because having a newborn is exhausting, but when you CAN do something you need to be able to. And when you need her help, you'll let her know too. She may be mad for a bit but she will get over it honestly. I have a mom who's feelings are hurt by everything. I had to finally just speak my mind and know that she'll come around a couple days later.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 3:55 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • You must hurt her feelings in order to make her stop. If you don't nip it in the bud, she will NEVER let you be Mommy. She needs to respect your new role as a mother, no matter how much it hurts her to do so.

    Answer by caitxrawks at 4:01 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • Tell her straight up "I love you mom, and I appreciate the help, but this is MY child" and so on and so forth. She needs to know that she is over stepping her boundaries and that she needs to just be a grandma and not try to be mom.

    Answer by BaisMom at 4:11 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

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